It was the early 70′s and we were a young married couple with two small children. A few years earlier we had bought an old house and were gradually, as our money allowed, fixing it up.
A year before, we had torn up the old carpet in the living and dining rooms when Hubby began to enclose the front porch and then tear down the front wall to make that area into an entry way. It was major construction done on an as-time-allows and as-the-money-became-available basis, so for the last year we had been living on plywood sub-flooring and with the whole downstairs a “construction zone”.
On Sunday mornings when it was time to get ready for church, we would wait until the last possible minute, and then take little Gunny and DD upstairs to bathe and dress them. Then we would carry them downstairs and out to the car, never allowing their clean little selves to have an opportunity to get dirty in the construction zone. I will have to post a picture sometime of the kids in front of the Christmas tree that year. It’s hard to decide if the picture is pathetic or funny. It’s of the two of them with Hubby’s police dog sitting in front of one of those white flocked trees … on sub-flooring.
So when Hubby finished renovating that area we were more than ready to put down new carpet, but couldn’t afford it yet. We began to save for that big purchase. I can remember the yearning for carpet to cover that ugly sub-flooring, coupled with the delicious anticipation of how wonderful the newly renovated rooms were going to look when we could finally afford to carpet them. We had lived on the sub-flooring for a total of about 18 months, when we finally saved enough money for the carpet.
I cannot even begin to describe how excited we were when the day finally arrived when our avacado green plush carpet was to be installed. It was a Saturday so Hubby was home too. When the installers arrived, we took the kids and went next door to sit on our neighbor’s’ front porch to stay out of the way until the installers were done. Finally, the installers left and we could go home to see our big purchase.
It was wonderful! The new carpet smell gave the whole house a feeling of “new”. It was sooo soft to walk on compared to the hard plywood. And it made the house so quiet. As you can imagine, during the time the carpet was up, the house had sounded hollow and every little sound had echoed. And remember, this was the 70′s, so the dark, rich avacado color was the ultimate “in” color. Perfect.
Later in the day I remember our neighbors Lon and Lois coming over to see it, and the four of us sitting in the living room (of course, all of the furniture had been moved out for the installation, so the room was temporarily empty) sitting on the floor with our backs against the wall just luxuriating in the softness and beauty of our new carpet.
There have been many other instances in my life when I have experienced great anticipation of an event, and then enjoyed it so much when it finally happened. But this one instance always stands out in my mind when I think of anticipation.
I wonder if this all sounds terribly old-fashioned to someone young who is reading it. It doesn’t seem like anyone wants to wait for anything any more. I imagine that anyone who wants something really badly these days is a rarity if they save until they can afford that special something. More often I would guess it just gets put on a credit card.
While the possessing of something new and wonderful will always be a wonderful feeling, I think that if you don’t have to wait for that thing, you have missed an important part of the fun … the anticipation.
I fear that anticipation is in danger of extinction in this day of instant gratification. What a loss.
But come to think of it, maybe this is one good thing that might come out of the hard economic times we are experiencing now. Maybe people will actually have to wait for a few things, and may realize in the process that anticipation is a wonderful part of the package too.